John Battelle just posted his yearly predictions for 2009… I have been following his year end postings for the past couple of years and he’s usually on the money mostly, if not pretty close. He’s changed the format slightly so he can measure his predictions easier at the end of the year and determine how he did. As usual he has some pretty interesting points …
8. Apple will see a significant reversal of recent fortunes. I sense this will happen for a number of reasons (yeah yeah), but I think the main one will be brand related - a brand based on being cooler than the other guy simply does not scale past a certain point. I sense Apple has hit that point.
A very interesting observation about brand scaling. How long can Apple continue to sustain it’s “cool” image which ultimately leads to their fortunes? The obvious answer is to continue to “wow” us in terms of new - and cool - products. I agree with Battelle, they are probably on the diminishing end of the bell curve with the iPhone and iPod Touch - we have passed the “ah ha!” moment IMO. They might just be able to squeeze in one more if they can do something with the rumored tablet/netbook by leveraging technology behind the iPod Touch.
… and this one also make you go hmmm! …
12. Facebook will do something entirely shocking and unpredictable. I am not certain what, but it won’t have a “status quo” year. It might be a merger with a traditional media company, a major alliance with Google, hiring a head scratcher as CEO, or something else at that level of “WTF!?” As I think about it, it might be as simple as making Facebook Connect truly open, and changing its policies to make it drop dead easy to get data out of the service. Also, Facebook will build a Twitter competitor, but it will never leave beta and will ultimately be abandoned as not worth the time. Instead, Facebook will “friend” Twitter and the two companies will become strong partners.
I’m not sure about this one … Definitely opening up Facebook Connect will be huge because who wouldn’t want access to their vast user base and the associated data. IMO this won’t be easy because of the never ending privacy related issues and I don’t think FB wants a repeat of Beacon! As far as Twitter … Twitter MUST do something in 2009 about monetizing their content and user base (as John points out in prediction #11). Unless FB can help them with this I don’t think there will be any sort of “partnership”.
and finally this one definitely perked my interest ….
13. Lucky #13 is reserved for my eternal mobile prediction: 2009 will see the year mobility becomes presumptive in every aspect of the web. By that I mean what I wrote back in 2007: “Mobile will finally be plugged into the web in a way that makes sense for the average user and a major mobile innovation - the kind that makes us all say - Jeez that was obvious - will occur. At the core of this innovation will be the concept of search”
Pieces of it are already there. Watch out for Google to make a huge splash with this one!